We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.” – Louise L. Hay.
How you create core beliefs about yourself
You may have grown up with parents who didn’t praise you very often for a job well done and instead focused on what you got wrong.
This kind of experience leads you to believe you are a failure and affects your self-worth.
Forming these types of beliefs results in you subconsciously seeking evidence to support your beliefs. So for example, every time you fail a test or make a mistake your negative beliefs are reinforced.
If you do well in something and get a good grade in an exam or have a success you’ll often put it down as ‘I got lucky’ or ‘it was a fluke’, as your negative belief is so strong and if you’ve been running it for a long time i.e. years, it’s not going to change overnight.
Your Beliefs Turn Into Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Your belief that you are a failure, in this example, just goes on to become a self-fulfilling prophecy when you do make a mistake. Your beliefs are often inaccurate and unproductive and keep you stuck living a life below your full potential.
Just because you believe something about yourself, it doesn’t make it true! What you believe affects your view of the world and how you act and feel, hence the creation of self-fulfilling prophecies.
I remember very clearly my headmaster in the school hall, just before our GCSE’s, saying ‘if you believe you will do badly, you will do badly’ and ‘if you believe you will do well, you will do well’. So if you believe you’re going to fail you won’t try at things and you won’t achieve your full potential in life. You are creating blocks to your success.
How to Give Up Self-Limiting Beliefs
If you’ve spent 30 years plus living with your beliefs and in this example, telling yourself you’re a failure, then by telling yourself ‘you’re a success’ instead is not really going to have an impact. It’s not that easy to unlearn those deep-rooted core beliefs.
To challenge these beliefs ask yourself ‘what would I be doing if I were successful?’ Then start ‘acting as if’ you were a success. Imagine what that would look like. See what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel. Take on the physiology of a successful person. Change the tone of your voice to how you think a successful person would speak. Role-play it until you feel more and more successful. Also, look for evidence that contradicts your belief that you are a failure and write down all the reasons this might reinforce you new belief. Look for exceptions to the rule and take note. Just by raising your awareness you will be more capable than you give yourself credit for.
Change your core beliefs takes time
Don’t expect results over night. Spend some time thinking about the assumptions you’ve made on your ability to succeed. It’s often your beliefs over your lack of ability, which stands in the way of you living the best life.
Keep looking for evidence to support your new belief and write down what you find. Practice the ‘stepping in’ technique and with a little time and extra effort you will develop the mental strength you’ll need to overcome your negative beliefs, which have been holding you back from achieving your full potential.